Waitrose customers could soon be able to have food deliveries made without needing to be at home.
The supermarket has announced plans to conduct a trial whereby delivery drivers are given access to your property while you’re not there.
The system relies on installation of Yale ‘smart lock’ technology, whereby delivery drivers can be given temporary access to your house via Waitrose’s secure app.
The driver will store any refrigerated or frozen goods for you and leave other groceries in the kitchen, unless otherwise instructed. Deliveries will have a £25 minimum spend.
For those concerned about security, Waitrose say delivery drivers will have cameras mounted on their chests, similar to the police, as a way to monitor their behaviour. Footage of the delivery is available on request of the customer.
Nigel Fisher, managing director for Yale UK, says: “Working with Waitrose & Partners to develop the UK’s first in-home delivery service is an exciting premise for Yale, as we look to understand how smart products can enhance daily lives, as well as protecting your home.
“Our heritage and priority is in security, but the technologies we’re now working with means we can also collaborate with companies, like Waitrose, to also develop services that fit with modern life.”
But a spokesperson for insurance industry representative the Association of British Insurers (ABI) tells Moneywise: “Anyone thinking of using this should speak to their home insurer first about any possible implications on their home insurance.
"If people have different locks fitted they must tell their insurer, to ensure that they comply with any minimum security requirements. They should also check with Waitrose if this is backed up by any insurance cover.”
The trial is set to be conducted with 100 customers near to the Waitrose fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, south London. Waitrose says if the trial is successful it will roll out the service to more than 1,000 customers in spring 2019.
Archie Mason, head of business development from Waitrose & Partners, adds: “There is certainly an increasing demand among our customers to make shopping with us even more convenient to fit around their busy lifestyles.
“The concept of ‘in-home delivery’ has started to prove popular in other countries so we are keen to establish if there is an appetite for it in the UK.”